Monday, 3 June 2019

A New Take on the Eight Lunar Phases – Moon Types Reconfigured


This article is my take on the lunation cycle or the eight lunar phases.
It is based on primarily two sources and on some insights of my own. Those sources being Dane Rudhyar’s pioneering work in this field (his 1967 “The Lunation Cycle”) and the writings of an astrologer whom I consider one of my mentors, the late great, Kelly Lee Phipps (add link) .

One of my innovations in discussing the eight lunar phases (as far as I’m aware) is the notion that individuality and the personal are represented by moonlight, while the collective and society are represented by darkness. Also light can be seen as representing rationality and reason, while darkness subjectivity, emotionality and intuition. Taking note of these premises while contemplating the eight phases provides some new insights on this underdiscussed topic.
To be more clear and provide some examples; the new moon phase is a phase of 100% darkness, the crescent a phase of 75% darkness, the first quarter a phase of 50% darkness and decreasing, and so on and so forth.

Another simple but illuminating insight, which can be gained, are the different relationships between personality types who were born under different moon phases. Especially the insights one receives when contemplating opposite moon phases, and the phases before and after any given lunation, representing past and future karma appropriately .
On a somewhat similar note, it’s also worthwhile to contemplate possible meanings of the moon’s astronomical position relative to the sun at each of the phases.
Lastly, in my research some interesting parallels were found between the eight phases and the signs. The parallels were nicely fitted within a symmetrical scheme, which will be presented as well.

A technical note before we begin. Usually the lunations are divided on a 45o segment basis, but if one uses whole sign houses logic they can interpreted in the following manner.
Say a person has his moon at 10o Libra and his sun in 20o Libra, classically this is a balsamic moon phase but since both the moon and the sun are in Libra this can easily be interpreted as a new moon type of energy. Apply this logic in other cases to test this new ‘whole sign’ way of interpreting lunations.

   


New moon


* Moon is 0 to 45 degrees before the sun in the order of signs.

Practically all of the sources claim that the new moon phase is the most subjective, intuitive and at times irrational of the eight lunar phases (also can be childish).
Unlike the balsamic phase, which is characterized by the same amount of bright-dark ratio, new moon natives prefer to initiate, begin ventures and to be in the driver’s rather than the passenger’s seat. Unlike the opposing full moon phase, which describes relationship challenges, new moon people excel with people and in romantic relationships. This is also evident from the symbolic significance of the moon and the sun being in conjunction to one another.
General symbolic meanings of this lunation revolve around embarking on new journey, making a fresh start and other such forward looking initiatives. Obviously, the unknown outweighs the known in the native’s life and new moon people are usually fine with that.
After writing horoscopes for a while, it became obvious that new moon times usually go more smoothly than full moon times. Thus, stress and pressure are usually not a major factor in the native’s life. Rather the focus is on finding one’s calling, being happy, and reaching flow states (mundane or mystical).
On a social-individual axis, social convention or group belonging take a far larger role in the life of these natives, and often they identify themselves with the values of their peer group. Still this is a waxing moon (light increases), meaning that individual assertions are also vital. Notice that the balsamic moon phase was just completed so self-sacrifice and selfless giving are at an end, this phase is very much about the self-actualization (albeit through social integration).

Zodiacal analogy: Cancer. both for its cardinal qualities, subjective nature, and slow to act mode of operation. Cancers are goofy and aloof but also they possess firm ideas about what they want.
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Celebrity examples: Kyle Minogue (singer), Giorgio Armani (designer), Prince William (royalty).
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Keyword: I want.


 
Crescent moon

* Moon is 45 to 90 degrees before the sun in the order of signs.

People who were born under a crescent moon are past the initiation of the new moon phase, rather they walk the path of curiosity and exploration. They get to try all kinds of things throughout their lives, mingle with different people, and try on a variety of vocations and ways of life. On the challenging side of things the world looks looming large and the possibilities seem endless, to the point of fear and confusion. It’s vital to overcome inertia though, to go out there and make the first move. Astrologically speaking, this is the case because the light-dark ration of this moon phase is in favor of the dark, while the movement forward is a waxing movement towards more and more light. In a way, the new moon darkness pulls these natives backwards while the first quarter light-darkness equilibrium establishes an aim as far as asserting individual personality and ego driven goals are concerned. Considering the latter, it becomes clear why being assertive and overcoming fear are much desired qualities for crescent moons.
One astronomical fact is that during this stage the small moon is stepping away from the large sun. Metaphorically or symbolically speaking, this is a “leaving home for the first time” kind of movement.
The opposite disseminating phase types are experts proselytizers and presenters, specializing in big picture ideas and large movements. Crescent moons on the other hand are highly adept when creativity, finesse and adjustment come into play. Especially in social settings.

Zodiacal analogy: Gemini. for the nervousness, the curiosity, for trying on different life paths, for exploration and the centrality of other people in these natives’ lives.  
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Celebrity examples: Pope Francis (pope), Penelope Cruz (actress), Julius Erving (NBA hall of famer).
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Keyword: I engage.



First quarter moon

* Moon is 90 to 135 degrees before the sun in the order of signs.

People who were born under the first quarter moon are natural fighters, waging battles against unjust causes, outdated traditions and malfunctioning systems.
The dark - bright ratio of this moon phase is important, for this is the exact phase in which the light overcomes the darkness. Symbolically speaking this can represent the triumph of individual will over others’ expectations or any social forces. Moreover this tipping point of exactly half darkness and half light is laden with a hefty amount of tension, under which circumstances assertive action is needed to break the deadlock.
First quarter people place a high premium on individual skill and ability, and although it usually doesn’t come without tiresome hard-work, they should strive and develop these traits regardless. It is also important for these natives not to get too embroiled in the thick of battle, and always to be able to differentiate which parts of an existing system are to be targeted and which other parts are benign. Moreover, it’s important to stress humility after each successful engagement.
Some lessons are apparent when we examine the opposite moon phase, the last quarter. While the last quarter is much about rebellion and changing the status qua in a way which isn’t aimed at meriting the self, the first quarter is unabashedly about proving yourself, proving other wrong, and claiming a reward or social status through meritorious action.
The previous crescent phase is much about exploration and finding one’s calling, the next gibbous phase is about perfecting one’s character, while the lunation phase between those two is the main act of the play, which without a doubt is accompanied by some drama.   

Zodiacal analogy: Leo. For this “Lion King” like saga of a talented and virtuous individual who’s out to prove himself and claim his rightful place in the world.  
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Celebrity examples: George W. Bush (former president), Michael Douglas (actor), Nicholas Culpeper (astrologer).
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Keyword: I overcome.



Gibbous Moon

* Moon is 135 to 180 degrees before the sun in the order of signs.

Gibbous moon natives were born at the phase, under which the moon was waxing towards the fully luminated state. This modality of perfecting, training, gaining skills or working towards some final state or goal was surely imprinted on some vital aspects of their lives.
The light-dark ratio comes to show that rationality and reason prevail here, as progress is perceived as a one way ticket towards what we are able to see, understand, quantify and measure. For the same reason mystery is often perceived as superstition, and subjectivity as confusion or lack of standards. Additionally the elimination of the final vestiges of darkness comes to show that these natives actively try to ‘sculpt’ reality around them, in a process of elimination almost, so that outside influences would be limited to favorable ones. Some gibbous moons can be easily influenced by others and for the same reason they need to keep the lid on people they have around for company. That also explains why a critical streak runs strong with people who were born under this lunation.  
The opposite balsamic phase is the stage where the ego is purposefully shed in order for natives to better integrate with some social or universal cause. Using a logic of negation, we come to understand that social conventions, traditions and old ways of living are abandoned in order for the self to reach fruition, and a unique individual way of life to take form.
For the reasons we’ve just discussed this is also the ‘workaholic’ lunation phase, an energy which can also be manifested as a higher calling to become a disciple, a spiritual servant, or a follower in one shape or form.
Adjacent lunar phases are the feisty first quarter phase and the self-contained full moon phase. Concerning the first, gibbous moons seem to have abandoned actual fighting as a thing of the past, their struggle is rather an inner one (like the true meaning of the word Jihad in the Quran). Relating to the second, full moon phase, the goal of self-actualization is definitely the aim of all this and the reason gibbous types put themselves through all these hoops. 

Zodiacal analogy: Virgo. For obvious, and fairly stereotypical, reasons. Namely perfectionism, hard work, propensity to train and to practice, less of a leader and more of a follower quality, and so on and so forth.       
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Celebrity examples: James Franco (actor), Silvio Berlusconi (former head of state), Sid Vicious (singer).
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Keyword: I perfect.



Full Moon

* Moon is 180 to 135 degrees after the sun in the order of signs.

The full moon phase contains a curious contradiction at its center. On the one hand, it’s the completion of a cycle and the final step of the bright phase, while on the other hand it’s the polarity lunation with the sun and moon opposing each other. The first principle refers to the “whole package” kind of energy, manifested as self-assurance, responsibility, clear objectives, and solid outlook and values. The second principle refers to relationships obviously, with an emphasis on the ups and downs, the pulls and pushes. The challenges of relationships in other words. In fact this contradiction is fairly clear when you think about it. Since full moon natives are all about their goals and objectives, clear outlooks on life and well defined personalities there’s ample opportunity for conflict when they get involve with other people who do not share convictions similar to theirs. Quite expectedly, this is especially common when romantic relationships are at stake.
One theoretical conclusion is that this lunation is the most bright, which carries implications of maximum individual development, but minimal capacity to be in-tune with society or with groups. This also shows itself as people who like to do the talking but dislike doing the listening.
The preceding moon phase, the gibbous, is completed with this one. The gibbous is much about self-perfection, which by the way isn’t an issue by the time the full moon comes around. Using the same logic we can see that the ensuing moon phase, the disseminating, is much about ‘spreading the word’. A natural state of affairs after individual understanding and clarity were achieved. In fact, disseminating types are good at what full moon types don’t excel at, reaching out to people and making connections. This is also the reason why full moons can learn a lesson or two from disseminating moons.
The opposite, new moon phase, demonstrates by negation that full-mooners need facts, figures and evidence to guide their decision making process, in contrast to new moons’ reliance on gut-feeling and intuition. An additional contrast is that while new moon times are relatively quiet, full moon times are usually stressful and at times not without drama. As such, full moon natives learn to master stormy weather during the course of their lives.

Zodiacal analogy: Capricorn. For their confidence, vision, future-orientedness and for the challenge these natives experience when trying to relate to others and play the social game.  
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Celebrity examples: Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer star), Liv Tyler (actress), LL Cool J (rapper).
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Keyword: I am.



Disseminating Moon

* Moon is 135 to 90 degrees after the sun in the order of signs.

Disseminating moons possess characteristics which highly resemble Sagittarian personality traits, having achieved personal insight at the full moon stage and wishing to inseminate (disseminate) everyone else with their flowering. The keynote is bringing the light of the moon (individuality) towards everything which is not the self (society, significant others, people in general). The final aim is to prove themselves to others and to achieve a sense of identity with those others, as if by the end of this phase. Once there, at the last quarter phase, they are more integrated with society, and more importantly they are more accepted by other people. This only happens after a mutual process of affecting others and being affected by them occurs, akin to a teacher who also learns from his students. This balance is represented by the half bright - half dark stage the moon is at during the beginning of the last quarter phase. By the last quarter phase the light is visibly waning, and it represents that disseminating moons ultimately wish to mix with other individuals and groups, or create such groups and organizations if none existed. The one-on-one full moon characterized relationships doesn’t do it for them anymore, rather they are about the merits and challenges of groups.
By logic of negation we can see the opposing crescent moon phase is characterized by worlds-apart trait such as quiet exploration, shyness and an eye for detail. This brings us to the understanding that disseminating moons can at times be overconfident, out-there and prone to generalizations.

Zodiacal analogy: Sagittarius. For the ability to be dynamic, to inspire and move ideas around.
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Celebrity examples: Drake (rapper), Carla Bruni (model), Marilyn Monroe (actress).
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Keyword: I show.



Last quarter moon

* Moon is 90 to 45 degrees after the sun in the order of signs.

The last quarter is a point where the moon’s dark part overcomes its bright side. This bears several important implications for those born under its rays. With light representing individuality and darkness representing the collective or larger causes it’s foreseeable that these natives will try to go beyond the self. Not in a mystical surrendering way like balsamic moon types but in a very down to earth goal oriented way, maybe as humanitarians.
This may be a good time to contrast the last quarter type to the previous disseminating lunation type. While disseminating moons have a proclivity to proselytize and spread the word, last quarters are past that stage. Instead they look forward to change the rules of the game altogether, as the pendulum has swung too far. Back to the balsamic moons for a second though, last quarters are jealous of their quiet ways and demeanor, as the last quarter stage is a tension filled ‘breaking point stage’, at which the dark-light ratio is equal.
The opposite first quarter phase teaches an important lesson by logic of negation. While first quarters fight to gain the recognition they deserves as individuals, last quarters fight to break chains, overturn the tide or to bring about some forgotten ideology or sidelined of belief system. Regardless, the focus is not on the self, rather on ideas, ideologies, social movements and group consciousness acts and revisions. Rebels, reformists, future oriented individuals and pessimistic but deep thinking figures are all associated with this lunation.   

Zodiacal analogy: Aquarius. For the slight revolutionary tinge, the unorthodox way of doing things, and for self-denying combined with social work. From a less positive viewpoint these natives tend to be inflexible.
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Celebrity examples: Barack Obama (former president), Jon Bon Jovi (singer), Michael Jordan (NBA star).
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Keyword: I overturn.



Balsamic Moon

* Moon is 45 to 0 degrees after the sun in the order of signs.

Balsamic moon natives were born at the end of the lunation cycle, at the darkest phase. Thus they are highly in tune with society, with others, with cross cultural causes and the like. The reminders of individuality and self (represented by the light of the moon) are to be done away with, but care should be taken while engaging in this process.
The light - dark ratio of this phase points towards an objective of spirituality, giving, selfless action, and ultimately integration and acceptance.
The critical streak of the previous last quarter stage is left behind, as this stage is less about self vs. society tension and more about the next new moon lunation, which symbolizes new beginnings, the here and the now, and flow-like intuitive existence. Since this is the case, the prevailing mood of balsamic moons is easygoing, soft, yielding and seemingly irrational when judged from a materialistic viewpoint. On the flip side, some authors warn of giving away too much, too soon, and this is a valid point since balsamic moons require wisdom and learning as solid foundations for any inspired action.
As the opposite gibbous lunation can be symbolized by an artisan, who constantly adds to and perfects his craft, this lunation is much about subtracting, surrendering and letting go.  

Zodiacal analogy: Pisces. For it is the final lunation phase, and also in terms of many trait similarities.
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Celebrity examples: Theresa May (politician), Rafael Nadal (tennis player), Redfoo (artist).
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Keyword: I accept.




Diagram of the eight phases and their accorded signs

Please notice how cardinal signs begin the waxing new moon semi-cycle and the waning full moon semi-cycle, how the middle of each cycle is represented by a fixed sign and how the hinges or transition phases are represented by mutable signs.
I do want to point out that I have had some second thoughts about the first quarter zodiacal equivalent. Aries seems to fit this lunation characteristics just as well as Leo, though using it interferes with the symmetrical scheme. The same can be said about Libra instead of Capricorn for the full moon phase.






 









Friday, 19 December 2014

New Rulerships for Zodiac Signs When you Consider Sect (day & night) - A Triplicity Application


But first some background.
In modern astrology we use a reduced dignity scheme where we only consider the rulership of a sign and its exaltation. For example, the rulership of the sign Aries is the planet Mars while its exaltation is the Sun. Conversely you can look at planets which are detriment or fallen within the limits of a particular sign. For example Venus is considered deblilitated and Saturn is considered fallen in Aries.

Here's the full list of the two strongest dignities (The sign of the planet and its exaltation) and its converse detriment and fall.


















But that's only part of the story.
Ancient astrologers (Hellenistic, Arabic and else) used a more comprehensive system which included more parameters for rating the planets.
Other dignity parameters included Triplicity, Term and Face which strengthened (or weakened) the planet's ability to "act" or perform its duty.
The great late British astrologer William Lilly (1602-1681) used a table to examine the strength and debility of each planet (from now on: Lilly's point scoring system), he gave each of the dignities a score based on the potency of that particular dignity.
Here's the part about essential dignities:

In own sign +5
In Detriment -5
In exaltation+4
In Fall-4
In own triplicity+3


In own terms+2


In own face+1


In this article I'll use Lilly's point scoring system in order to revisit the 'today-excepted' rulers of the signs which only take into account the first two types of dignity (Sign and Exaltation).
I'll show that by merely adding the third strongest type of dignity (Triplicity), which takes into account whether the native was born during daytime or nighttime, our entire system of sign rulership changes.  

But beforehand, what's a Triplicity anyway?
Well, in Hellenistic Astrology they used to divide the planets into day and night planets. This is also called Sect, with an inner division between planets of the diurnal sect and planets of the nocturnal sect.
You can read Deborah Houlding's article and try and decipher the logic behind this division, but here's the basic grouping anyhow:






* Some authors consider Mercury to be a changeable planet, swapping between the day and the night sect

The basic premise is that Diurnal planets are masculine, outgoing, extrovert and of the yang polarity
While Nocturnal planets being feminine, introvert, preserving and of the yin polarity.

This bears resemblance to the division of the signs into masculine (Fire and Air) and feminine signs (Water and Earth).
It's also worth mentioning that contrary to common sense mars is aligned with the nocturnal sect because it balances its hot and fiery qualities, allowing it to excel.
In the same manner cold and rigid Saturn is aligned with the diurnal sect, for balance reasons as well.

Now this is where it gets a bit complicated.
The Hellenistic author Dorotheus of Sidon matched signs with planets according to their sect, or day and night affinity.
There are other divisions by different authors (Ptolemy, Schoener, Morin) but the Dorotheus division has the largest consensus inside the astrological community.
Here it is:









As you can see, the signs are grouped according to their element (fire, earth, air, water) - those are also the triplicities; arrangement of the signs by threes, or by trines.
Furthermore, we can see from the table that the diurnal planets only have affinity with masculine signs and the nocturnal planets only have affinity with feminine signs.  

An important principle
: the first planet [D] in the triplicity has priority and is strongest during the day, while the second planet [N] has priority and is strongest during the night. The third planet [P] is a participating planet and adds some influence during both day and night, but is weaker than the main triplicity ruler.

For example: A day birth with Sun in Aries receives a +3 score (according to Lilly's system) for the sun as its triplicity ruler. If that individual was born during the night his Aries sun couldn't exert its power, but say he also had a Jupiter in Aries, in that case his Jupiter in Aries would gain the +3 boost as night ruler.
To bring home the final point, if that individual also had a Saturn in Aries that Saturn would have gained a +1 score as participating ruler. In that case it doesn't matter if the individual was a day or night birth, the participating ruler strengthens in both cases.

*
**
***
**
*

All this is fine and well but none of it is new.
Now that I'm done with the intro and you understand how all of this works (hopefully), I can proceed to the main point of the article.

What I did was simple.
Using Lilly's point scoring system, I calculated the strength and debility of all the planets associated with the signs, but I added Dorotheus' triplicity rulers to the equation.
Here are the results:



    * Orange bracket - Strongest dignity in the sign (by day or night)
    * Red bracket - Sign ruler (Almuten) by day or night
    * [D] - Day rulership (day birth)
    * [N] - Night rulership (night birth)


The chart shows the sign ruler, exaltation planet and the three triplicity rulers for each of the twelfth zodiac signs. Scoring is done according to Dorothean rulerships and Lilly's system for day and night births.

For example: Venus receives 5 points for its sign rulership of Libra by day or by night. Saturn receives 4 points in Libra because it's exalted their by day or night, and it receives an additional 3 points for Saturn by day since it's Libra's triplicity ruler by day - that totals to 7 points by day only. Mercury receives 3 points in Libra by night as it's its triplicity ruler by night while it gets no point by day. Finally Jupiter receives 1 point in Libra both by day and by night as it's its participating ruler. 

* It's important to note that the planet which gets the highest score is also called Almuten in the sources. Originally the term is being used to accord for all the dignities, including dignity by term and face which I do not mention in this article.
In the last example Libra's Almuten by day is Saturn (+7) and Venus by night (+5).



Now that we've considered sect, in addition to regular rulerships ,we can see that the most dramatic change is different sign rulerships for five signs:
*

Pisces
- Venus by day:  gets +4 from exaltation and +3 from day rulership, totaling at +7 and beating day-time Jupiter at +5.

Aries - Sun by day:  gets +4 from exaltation and +3 from day rulership, totaling at +7 and beating daytime Mars at +5.
Taurus - Moon by night:  gets +4 from exaltation and +3 from night rulership, totaling at +7 and beating night-time Venus at +5.
Libra - Saturn by day gets +4 from exaltation and +3 from day rulership, totaling at +7 and beating daytime Venus at +5.
Capricorn - Mars by day and night gets +4 from exaltation and +1 from mars as participating ruler, totaling at +5 and tying Saturn for rulership of the sign by day and night.


The most practical application of these insights is to consider Venus, the Sun and Saturn as the natural rulers of Pisces, Aries and Libra respectively - for day births.
We can also consider the Moon as the ruler of Taurus for night births and Mars as equal co-ruler of Saturn - in general.
Whether a person was born during the day or the night is easily available information, so the information is easily applicable.


Implications to Natal Astrology from these findings

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Unlike a Pisces individual who was born at night and should be a deep thinker, interested in the bigger picture, sanguine and jolly (a Jupiter type); a Pisces individual who was born during the day should be aesthetically minded, good with personal relationships, more of an 'in the world' individual and less careless (a Venus type).
---
Unlike a Aries individual who was born at night and should be rash, competitive and goal oriented (a Mars type), a Aries individual who was born during the day should desire to achieve great things or fame and should care more about individual development (a Sun type).
---
Unlike a Taurus individual who was born during the day and should be pleasant, well humored, good with people and social (a Venus type), a Taurus individual who was born at night should be family oriented, security minded and maybe loony or weird (a Moon type).
---
Unlike a Libra individual who was born at night and should be Indecisive, socially oriented, pleasant to people, caring about personal relationships (a Venus type), a Libra individual who was born during the day should be more of a firm type, legally minded, realistic and at times harsh with himself and others (a Saturn type).
---
In the case of Capricorns it seems that besides Saturn which is responsible for their discipline, rigor and realistic outlook on things, Mars is equally responsible for some of their unaccounted traits of competitiveness, career climbing, motivation for doing hard work and excelling and general sharpness in features or personality.
It's interesting to note that now that Capricorn is co-ruled by Mars it becomes the ultimate baddie of the zodiac signs with the two malefics backing him up :)
--
* The latter descriptions apply to sun signs



An additional set of conclusions is possible due to the latter findings.
Now that we added sect rulers to our understanding of common sign dignity we can differentiate between two signs with the same ruler. For example, we can see in which of the Mars signs (Aries and Scorpio) Mars is stronger?

Some of the more interesting findings are:

Aquarius Saturn by day (+8) > Capricorn Saturn by day or night (+5)
Sagittarius Jupiter by night (+8) > Pisces Jupiter by day or night (+5)
Scorpio Mars by night (+8) > Aries Mars by day or night (+5)
Taurus Venus by day (+8) > Libra Venus by day or night (+5)
---
* The Mercury rulership doesn't alter, even though Mercury adds points to Gemini as night ruler. The reason for this is the double dignity Mercury has in Virgo; Mercury has rulership in Virgo both by sign and exaltation.
I always wondered about that one as it seems like a wack feature which tweaks with the balance of things. Not to mention the huge debility scores mercury gets in Pisces, a whooping (-9).



In the debility department, the less worse detriments are:

Scorpio Venus by day (-2) > Aries Venus by day or night (-5)
Taurus Mars
by day or night (-4) > Libra Mars by day or night (-5)
Gemini Jupiter by day or night (-4) > Virgo Jupiter by day or night (-5)
Leo Saturn by day or night (-4) > Cancer Saturn by day or night (-5)
--
* so basically the left positions are slightly less worse off than the right positions. Scorpio Venus by day may be more better off then the others. 


And those are the falls whose harm is mitigated by one of the sect lights:
Cancer Mars by night (-1) > Cancer Mars by day (-4)
Virgo Venus by day (-1) > Virgo Venus by night (-4)
Capricorn Moon by night (-2) > Capricorn Moon by day (-5)
--
* same principal as above, but the mitigation factor is greater in this case.



Some notes and disclaimer:
* Robert Hand in his book on Sect and few other authors have mentioned a triplicity system where the first ruler (night for example) gets a +3 score, the second ruler (day ruler in this example) gets a +2 score and the participating ruler gets a +1.
* Other authors mentioned a system where all sect rulers get a +3 score.
* I personally see less merit in these unbalanced point scoring methods, but some of you might prefer and adopt them.  
* When I went with the (+3 / 0 / +1) system I considered the participating ruler as a form of minor dignity, akin to Face in the five-fold system of essential dignity.
* I think that the moon as participating ruler of the water triplicity should be scored at least by the value of +2. Still, the moon is the chief nocturnal agent in the chart.
* It's also worth testing the new "day a& night sign rulerships" using Morin's triplicity system, which raised in popularity due to knowledgeable astrology bloggers such as Altair Astrology Blog and Anthony Louis' blog posts.



~
Warm regards,
Dima.







Saturday, 12 October 2013

Your Earth Sign is just as important as your Sun Sign


A different ingredient astrological cookbook


After the Copernican revolution in the 16’th century Ptolemy’s model of a geocentric solar system was overthrown in favor of a new model of a helio-centrism, that is the sun is at the center and the earth revolves around it. This "little scientific tidbit" is sometimes forgotten by our stubborn, geo-centric dependent astrological community.

Most people forget that other than the 8 planets, the 2 luminaries and a few small important bodies (Ceres and Chiron) we ourselves live on the 9’th planet. The astrological influences of this quiet revelation are mostly unseen, a thing the writer of this article is determined to change.
I’ll engage the crux of the matter soon enough but first I’ll say that in the astrological chart the earth is always positioned 180 degrees from the sun. So if you have your sun at 15⁰ Sagittarius your earth will be situated at 15⁰ Gemini for example.
On we go to the crux of the matter. Just like in so many astrological mechanics, we’re talking here about an interplay or interchange of oppositions and dualities. A bit like the north node - south node relation (and also positioning in this case) there's a movement from one pole to the other, from one characteristic behavior to the next. Also like the north node - south node axis a growth and development theme is also present, you tend to move from one skill set to another complimentary skill set (usually underdeveloped as a consequence of the other pole's predominance). Or for specificity's sake, you move from a familiar - habitual behavior pattern on the earth side of the polarity to a challenging behavior which you have to apply conscious effort in order to pull it through on the sun's side.

This dynamic relationship pattern carries within it a likeness to the more familiar sun - moon symbolic relation, especially when you examine the two through a developmental perspective. The moon is the ‘astrological hardware’ which develops earlier in life as we mimic behaviors and care for our survival needs while the sun is what happens after puberty as we learn to beam our own personal uniqueness into the world. Likewise the earth is more of a built in system, our beloved home planet which we feel at ease to tread upon, while the sun is an extra terrestrial adventure, quite literally at least in the semantic sense.           
 
Mind the pun, but to ground all this in a down to earth sense, take for example the Gemini Sagittarius geo-solar axis. A Sagittarius sun – Gemini earth native will have his south node equivalent earth in education, communication seeking Gemini and will have his north node equivalent sun in spread the word, go out there and experience Sagittarius. Earth is where we come from, where we lunch our rockets from and the sun is where our aim - destination is at, what we seek, desire and dream of. A bit like the Icarus myth, we strive to release ourselves from mother earth's clutches, our familiar south node habit patterns, and reach the dazzling heights of our ideal sun-image. On top of that, also like the Icarus myth, the sun is where we overdo, feel unsure of ourselves and overcompensate, acting outrageously and overboard to test our limits and try to become what we've always desired becoming. Once more this is somewhat similar to the north node in astrological delineation.     


Let's try to explicate how each Earth-Sun polarity operates: 
Aries Earth (Libra Sun)

Keen observers versed in astrology will notice that lots of Libra boys have no problem getting into a fight, Libra girls have no problem getting into the nitty gritty of relationships too ,engaging in verbal arguments and tense negotiations when their all famous diplomacy skills fail to do the job. What I'm trying to say here is that Libras are actually natural fighters; having their earth sign in Aries they start their lives with a natural sense for the struggle, for keeping their rights as individuals while throughout lives they concentrate their energy to develop their dazzling skills as master diplomat and public relations specialists. That is, their sun sign traits are an affective counter-weight for their natural, inborn earth sign in Aries traits. A word also has to be said about a many a Libra tendency for hyperactive behavior and jumping from subject to subject and person to person in their life.

Taurus Earth (Scorpio Sun)


When you come to think about it Scorpios are some of the more confident signs of the Zodiac, not very typical for the conflict ridden waters of a mars-ruled native, I blame their earth sign.  They can be really serene too when you catch them in the right mood or when they've over expanded their Scorpio thrill seeking instinct, just chilling at home or in the company of friends. Hell, they can even be boring. Also Scorpios are strong, even when they're new and unsavvy in the environment around them they can take a lot before they complain. Is it a Scorpio sun trait? I say it's their Taurus earth. Also you must have noticed that Scorpio suns are ardent workers, their money making abilities can’t be doubted, and with good reason, their Taurus earth makes those natives natural bread earners for themselves and relatives alike. 

Gemini Earth (Sagittarius Sun)

Sagittarius sun signs lack tact, there's no denying that, but did you ever wondered where does this character flaw stems from? Sagittarius suns have their earth sign in Gemini which should make them flawless in the human relation department or at least very smooth at softening the edges, but the earth sign placement takes itself for granted and consequently makes no effort to improve at this department. It's as if Sagittarians are bored with accurate information, proper behavior and adapting themselves to situations. If they really wanted to they could, but it's really hard for them to find the motivation to do just that. Moreover Sagittarians are quick learners but they don't like to bother with all the details and rather prefer to develop their intuition and learn from experience instead, in other words they prefer to work through their sun sign instead of working through their earth sign.   

 Cancer Earth (Capricorn Sun)

Doesn't matter how tough a fa├žade a Capricorn adopts or how cynical and sarcastic his attitude, deep down at heart (at earth that is) he's probably a devoted family guy, priding his efforts at being a provider and caregiver, albeit in a practical - down of earth sort of way. His cancer earth has other benefits as well. Know that wacky sense of humor Capricorns have? Jim Carrey style, Cancer's goofy demeanor might just make that work. As long as the Cap is relaxed enough to let his earth sign colors fly. Finally the Cancer earth sign activity can be found in planning and over-planning everything, the only reason one needs to plan so much is if one is worried and feeling as if he’s floating on shaky waters constantly. The opposite tendency is a Cancer sun seeking to be loved or at least to have a good time, contrasting his Capricorn earth loneliness and melancholia.  

Leo Earth (Aquarius Sun)

How can it be possibly that the philosophical, self doubting Aquarians, be as jolly, shining, and attention seeking as the regal Leo? Well, if you understand the Earth-Sun mechanic than quite easily so. You surely have happened to bump into a wild Aquarian, crazier than the bawdiest Leo, friendly to a fault and adventure seeking, that's their Leo earth. Other Aquarians are shyer but within their area of specialty they can be as dominating and group center as any fire sign. Also a lot of them have a thing with video games, or just dragged around by friends waiting for their next good time, the playfulness of the Leo earth that is. Lastly, a lot of Aquarians seem to care very little, if at all, about their personal happiness. This is a darker side no doubt but consider for a moment how dominant their ‘take it for granted’ Leonine earth sign is when you can literally make fun of yourself and devote your life to the people around you. It’s just not as interesting to do things for yourself with those placements.     

Virgo Earth (Pisces Sun)

Piscean types don’t mind getting rough and dirty in the mundane world as long as it serves one of their lofty purposes in the end. They aren’t overly afraid of drugs, alcohol or even death as if they’ve mastered the physical and are only using it as a ladder towards higher ends. So once again, taking their Virgo earth as granted not questioning it and striving towards the opposite end. On the axis of imagination versus technical skill the fish usually adopts a down to earth attitude towards learning and acquiring skills. He will dabble his hand in a bit of everything till he feels sufficiently adequate to perform. Unlike the fussy, perfectionist Virgo Pisceans don’t linger over the technical stuff preferring to devote the lion’s share of their energies into the creative outlet itself. But have no doubt their Virgo earth will do whatever it takes to grind that Pisces sun to perfection, their earth is practical and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

Libra Earth (Aries Sun)

Aries is considered to be the child, the warrior, the daredevil, pioneer and self made man of the zodiac. All of those traits are connected to forward moving, confrontation aware energy. But in their essence Aries people are mellow, peace loving people, or at least when they are tired and lack 'sun energy'. In essence it's their Libra earth operating through its opposite position to their sun. You can also note that Aries individuals usually don't try to excel in fields of diplomacy, human relations and aesthetics. That is either they take it for granted or are naturally good at it, but only when they don't show the fiery colors of their Aries sun which negates their Libra earth qualities. Last but not least Aries people prefer their relationships around the lines of one on one partnerships, they shy away from groups most of the time. A short note has to be put in here about Aries’ low pain tolerance, most Aries people I know will wince at any needle, pinch or other forms of physical pain delivered to them, highly appropriate for their venus ruled earth sign.   

Scorpio Earth (Taurus Sun)

Astrology columns usually say that the Bull can be an uncontrollable creature once he's provoked, when Taurus sees red he's more dangerous than the most malicious Scorpio. In other words Taurus tries to shine his peaceful, benevolent cow sun to avoid the maelstrom which usually brews underneath on his earth planet of Scorpio. Just like the other astrology signs earth is much of a familiar zone for this native and most of his energy goes towards perfecting his safety mechanism of conservative values and economic stability in his Taurus sun. Exactly those aspirations nicely negate the torrent of financial worries and their general opinion about the fight for survival - Darwinian world outside. They simply seek an antidote for their Scorpio earth sign, that’s all. And the loads of self confidence? Well, with a mars ruled earth sign to stand for your rights come naturally to you.     

Sagittarius Earth (Gemini Sun)

Did you ever wonder why Gemini people are some of the most crazy people out there, hanging out, doing this and that, trying everything, while Gemini is considered a 'humane' sign (humanistic, moral, cultured)? Well, they have their earth sign in Sagittarius, the wildest sign of them all. Moreover, Gemini natives tend to take it easy in the life philosophy department; in fact they take it so easy that they usually fail to adopt one and end up being blamed with amoral opportunism, again their ‘take it for granted’ Sagittarius earth takes over. You can even go so far and say that Gemini’s striving to be fair, hear all sides of the matter and transfer information exactly as it was conveyed to them is a life-long pursuit to recompense their other traits of rushing things, intuitively learning and jumping ahead for personal gain. 

Capricorn Earth (Cancer Sun)

Cancer suns never fuss about actual work, they fuss a lot about having to do work as befits their lazy ideals of living a carefree, indulgent life, but once they start working they feel at home having a fine sense of finances and a frugal demeanor to boot. They are also calm folk, able to take things in their stride, quietly and temperately like a true earth sign, their Capricorn earth that is. Capricorn suns are known for their spiritual - seclusion seeking yearnings, this trait comes easily to the Cancer sun (Capricorn earth) female natives who come by activities such as yoga, meditation or religion with natural ease. Male natives can come by the drop of the liquor first (some addiction or other), maybe it’s a negative side effect of the Capricorn earth depressive - melancholic tendencies. Both man and woman seem to seek the home, warm, casual feeling which will negate their earth sign over-serious tendencies.
          

Aquarius Earth (Leo Sun)

A lot of Leos believe in science and relay on logic way too much, I often wondered about that, when I considered the enthusiastic and impassionate nature of their sign, but that's not the entire picture. Considering Leo's earth which is in Aquarius we can understand how Leos feel that they're walking on solid ground when they’re dealing with cold, hard, Aquarian facts. One may also claim that their constant need to prove their individuality and uniqueness stems from just the opposite, from the Aquarian feeling that they are no better than other people. Leos often say things like "I'm usually shy but when I'm asked to perform I supply the goods", Now we can finally believe them. Lastly, living with a feeling of you're just like everyone else definitely sets you on the path towards finding your own uniqueness. Alternatively the Aquarian earth may bestow you with a certainty that you're a genius and that's where your Leo sun enters the stage in showing it to the world.


Pisces Earth (Virgo Sun)

How many Virgos do you know who privately always complain to you that their only wish is just to crush somewhere, read a book, listen to music, get high or do some other offbeat activity? As befitting an earth sign, Virgos can be rough and obstinate but they often swing in more comfortable surroundings to being emotional, moody and crazy romantic even. Why is that the case? It's clearly their Pisces earth. Quite often the 'couldn't care less' outside persona is just a hi-tek protection system, an anti-virus so to speak, against a very intense inward idealism. Furthermore there’s the issue of technique versus imagination. In theory Virgos should be technical, and indeed they put much effort into perfecting their methods but often their vision is just as strong, only it’s built-in and does rarely comes to the fore. Virgos don’t fuss about creativity because they feel at ease with it, it’s home grown in their case.         


 
A final word.
There are probably numerous other examples of how the earth sign personifies a deeper, more inherent facet of the native sun sign, but those I'll have to leave to you dear readers.  One of the big advantages of the geo-solar axis is that research is easily available on the subject via the contemporary popularity of sun sign astrology, just ask for your friend's date of birth and see for yourself.
On the same note, bringing this topic to consciousness highlights the implicit notion that sun sign astrology is accidentally more meaningful than it is evident at first sight. The mere fact is that knowing somebody's sun sign you inadvertently know his earth sign as well. There is a popular saying that ‘knowing someone's sun sign is mere knowing of 10% of his character’ so in light of mine and other astrologers articles on the subject we can increase the percentage to a honorable 20%.


Astrological Glyph





 Satellite





 











P.S. This article didn't reach prize/ publishing position in the Astrological Association of GB journal competition for Best Astrological Essay by a Young Writer. Naturally I didn't plan to leave it idle on my hard drive after receiving their decline...    



Dima~



 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Moon Phases and the Four Elements - A New Model


The eight moon phases is advance - basic material in astrology. They are basic because they aren't hard to grasp and are essential for understanding an essential astrological - astronomical feature. They are advance because they are less known then planet - sign - house astrology and are a layer above it providing extra information and features once you know its basics. 
The moon's cycle around earth takes 29.5 days approximately.


The eight moon phases


*
1. new moon
2. crescent moon
3. first quarter moon
4. gibbous moon
5. full moon
6. disseminating moon
7. last quarter moon
8. balsamic moon
*



Each has its own special monthly vibe and energy. Also each individual is born under one of the eight moon phases and so he/ she is imprinted with that type of energy for the rest of her life :)
One may say it's the individual's life mission or style, the way he carries himself in the world or his outlook on life. It's all of those things and more, sometime less, it depends on other placements in your chart.

To find out what moon phase were you born under click on this link:
spacefem.com/quizzes/moon
And then you can proceed to interpretation sites and guides, like the one by the awesome astrologer Kelly Lee Phipps who created this wheel diagram thingy to explain the moon phases:
files.meetup.com/2090771/moonphases.pdf
Feast your eyes upon its symbolic interpretations at will or head over to this link on the great Dane Rudhyar's archive site and read about each moon phase from a humanistic - evolutionary perspective:
www.khaldea.com/rudhyar/astroarticles/lunationbirthday_4.php  



Now the topic for today is "Moon Phases and the Four Elements".
I'll say here that I've been studying each of the moon phases and have managed to establish a rather curious, if not final, correlation between the 8 phases and the 4 elements.
Here is the new model                                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (c) me



1. new moon = water                            [or water-air]
2. crescent = air                                    [or air-fire]
3. first quarter = fire                              [or fire-earth]

4. gibbous = earth                                 [or earth-earth]
5. full moon = earth                               [or earth-fire]
6. disseminating = fire                           [or fire-air]
7. last quarter = air                                [or air-water]
8. balsamic = water                               [or water-water]



Why is that the case? Well,
If you read the moon phase descriptions in the links above or just choose to relay on me, the logic is as follows: (Notice how each of the following traits echos the energy of the element in question)


Water
* Balsamic moons are self denying, all accepting, able to suffer for long term goals, spiritual or deep in their thinking and know the meaning of sacrifice.
* New moons are spontaneous, live in the moment, go according to gut feeling, are somewhat egoistical, and desires are of prime importance to them.

Earth 
* Gibbous moons find themselves in disciple, apprentice or trainee positions, are discerning and discriminating, they can be perfectionists and are good at working towards specific goals.  
* Full moons strive to be objective, love it when people can relay on them, devote their lives to fulfilling their vision but can be obstinate and full of themselves. 

Air
* Crescent moons are curious, open to new experience, enterprising and are interested in anything new, chic or talked about, they are tied to the past but are unable to resist the lure of the future.
* Last quarter moons are thrown into situations where reorientation, reform or rebellion are needed, they are skeptical, iconoclasts and careful thinkers as this stage characterizes a consciousness or inner crisis.

Fire
* First quarter moons are natural fighters, optimistic and outgoing, they are the self made man or woman of this world, they seek to improve and change existing social structures, a tendency towards black and white thinking exists.   
* Disseminating moons are natural disciples and crusaders of some teacher, ideology or a way of life, they popularize ideas and spread the word and they have a role as mediators between great founders and the social masses.


Further evidence can be found in the symmetry of the model. Anything which works smoothly is evidence for functionality in my book.

Water signs are opposite earth signs and air signs are opposite fire signs, just like the regular element scheme.
Also, the phases where the night/ nocturnal dominates (i.e.  last, balsamic, new and crescent) are the spiritual, mental elements (water and air).
While the phases where day/ diurnal dominates (i.e.  first, gibbous, full, disseminating) are the physical, ego-self elements (earth and fire).
Hence I'm tempted to conclude that the nocturnal phases of the moon are more feminine and the diurnal phases of the moon are more masculine.
This corresponds nicely with astronomical logic. When the moon's surface is more than 50% illuminated the sun predominates in the night, the sun is an ancient masculine symbol and mostly personified as male in world mythologies. When it's less than 50% illuminated the dark, the unknown, the irrational predominates; all of which are famous personification of femininity, ancient and modern alike.     



I'll point out to a rival model by Portuguese astrologers Helena Avelar and Luis Ribeiro. They are traditional astrologers based in Lisbon, Portugal (as far as I know) and they've passed a mention on a curious correspondence between the four moon quarters and the four humors - temperaments.
Their division is as follows:








This division is somewhat close to the model I'm proposing here although it differs from it on a few principal points. Namely, they are similar in the sense that: Each of their quarters has a corresponding element to an element I've been suggesting, though not in the same order. The two models are dissimilar in the sense that mine is divided by eight and theirs only by four being more general in scope.
Overall both of them have their merits as I can definitely see the logic in this kind of traditional division.

The logic:
1'st Qtr: Constituting the beginning. Laden with the quality of curiosity, wonder and expansion, the urge to learn and to come into contact with others.
2'd Qtr: Constituting the drive towards completion. Laden with the qualities of struggle, self centeredness, and fevered work & criticism.
3'd Qtr: Constituting the final product. Laden with the qualities of productivity, material benefit, relating your message to others and teaching your gained insight.
4'th Qtr: Constituting shunning the material. Laden with the qualities of an inner search and looking for higher truth, being characterized by another self centered journey, this time an inner one.

It's interesting to note that according to the traditional model the 1'st and 3d quarters under the new and full moons are more social and service oriented, being characterized by the air and earth elements. The 1'st is about having fun and the social self while the 3'd is about work and the social other.  The 2'd and 4'th quarters on the other hand are self oriented with a strong tone of achievement attached to them. The 2'd being worldly achievement while the 4'th being spiritual achievement. They represent the fire and water elements appropriately.   



Which of the two models works best?
Which do you feel more comfortable with?
Do you want to tinker with one of the models?
I'll leave that to you astrology aficionados, in the comments section below.




~Dima


Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Uranus, Neptune, Pluto - Exalted in...



I've been studying the subject of planetary strength and debility for as long as I can remember. 
Having an six out of the ten planets in my chart in either dignity or debility has always evoked questions about what's the best possible placement for a planet? 
There's quite a dilemma on and offline about which sign is the place of exaltation of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. 
I generally incline towards a more or less even distribution of exaltation signs so that if Aries already exalts the Sun it shouldn't exalt Uranus. 
Otherwise a Zodiac sign should be somehow connected to the nature of the planet it exalts. So if Cancer is the natural sign of exaltation of Jupiter that's because cancer is warm, moist, spiritual, needs to belong and so forth. 
There’s an additional view to exaltations. In Traditional Astrology a sign exalting a planet is like a person holding another person in high esteem, even judging him as more than his worth. Somewhat like an overpriced stock in a bubble inflated stock market before it crushes and takes the economy down with it.
In such manner hard working Capricorns overestimate the power of a soldier or an assertive - action oriented man to reach a goal faster and without the hard work (Capricorn exalting Mars). Or take Taurus which provides for other people in material areas but finds it difficult to provide emotionally or, god forbid, to express love (Taurus exalting the Moon). Examples abound but I’ll only mention Pisces exalting Venus in the sense that the fish, being out of this life and fantasy driven in their pursuit of harmony and pleasure, has a lot to learn from Venus’ straightforward ways to be likeable and effective in getting what they want, and all this inside this world not relying on some utopian vision.   
 
  
Uranus whose natural ruler is Aquarius is widely considered to have its exaltation in the sign of Scorpio. 
One might think: "Now what a sky god, a titan has to look for in the underworld?" but then you remember that Hades is such an aloof character, alienated from everyone else in his kingdom in Tartarus.
Scorpios revel in the unknown by experimenting and most experiments deal with evolution of the self. Thus you find Uranus in the lowest of places, probing the depths.   
Also, Scorpios are fiercely independent and will not tolerate being dominated by another individual. All in all it fits although one can argue that Aries (Mar's diurnal domocile) fits just as well but it has another planet as its exaltation, the sun which is Uranus’ opposite.   
Uranus’ keywords are proof by themselves for a mars ruled sign; pioneering, unconventional, independent, individualism. Even the darker aspects: accident prone, violent et cetera et cetera.
Still I do believe that the majority got it right as there's a valid connection between Scorpio and Uranus.
Lastly, this will place Uranus’ fall in the stable, conservative Taurus. An antithesis for everything Uranus stands for.
About the traditional idea of exalting a planet; Scorpio’s highest manifestation is considered to be the eagle, which is much an Aquarian motif (with its angel symbolism). It relishes helping others while not caring to suffer the costs in self sacrifice, as Uranian as it gets.   
 
 
True to its nature Neptune remains elusive all the way through. I remember some astrologers claiming Cancer was its sign of exaltation. Let's put that claim to the test.
Surely cancer is hyper emotional and is on the lookout for a fairytale real life Cinderella story. But Cancer is not at the least confused (being a cardinal sign), has no theme of personal sacrifice and is otherwise concerned with what's inside his own shell; family matters, needs, desires and such. Cancer is also a sign of plenty situated smack on the summer solstice point so it's connected with personal success. 
All the above are things which fundamentally contradict Neptune's heart and (most importantly) soul. Thus I do not believe cancer is the sign of Neptune's exaltation.  
My very own candidate is non other than Aquarius. A conclusion, British Astrologer, Paul Wade has reached independent of my own considerations.   
Now that must come as a shock, Airy aloof Aquarius having Neptune exalted in its waters ('The Water Bearer' remember?). Well Aquarius may be unemotional to a fault but we must remember that Neptune is a generational planet making it unsuccessful in dealing with the personal level of experience ruled by the personal planets. Pisces’ emotions are a reflection of the wider universe around them, it is not a matter of personal whims and desires. Likewise Neptune in its positive, yang form (Aquarius) is concerned logically and ideally with the notion of unifying, helping, liberating, contributing and giving for the greater good, for humanity. Neptune is the denial of self in the process of empowering another and in much the same spirit Aquarius individuals worldwide are ready to make substantial sacrifices in order to bring a greater good. Plus they are weird and live in a world of their own making. 
Lastly, this will place Neptune’s fall in egoistical, self-aggrandizing Leo, which Neptune doesn’t get at all.
While in the traditional scheme, Aquarius probably exalts Neptune because Neptune doesn’t rely on concepts, words and ideas to achieve his humanitarian goals. It’s less intellectual and less self aware being a true humanitarian by the way of it. That is considering other people’s needs before considering yours.  
 

Last but not least comes our venerable grim reaper Pluto. I'm pretty sure that Virgo of all signs is Pluto's sign of exaltation. 
In November Mother Nature is dying in front of our eyes as Persephone is descending into Pluto's domain. Wait stop! Rewind… 
A little bit earlier in September we experience that first feeling of blues as the days are getting shorter and summer is crumbling down slowly, layer by layer. Pluto, of course, is the lord of change.
Scorpios 'sting' others while Virgo criticize or 'sting' themselves (look at the glyph). They are both analytical and morbidly realistic. Both are unwillingly attracted to taboo subjects (sex, drugs) and more importantly both Virgo and Scorpio have strong compulsion-obsession issues. Scorpio likes to be in control, Virgo relishes losing control. In the world of BDSM Scorpios are masters while Virgos are slaves, metaphorically speaking.
In a strange kind of way Virgo tends to act like Pluto's yin version. Both Virgo and Scorpio are yin (negative signs) but nevertheless in mars ruled Scorpio Pluto's influence is more virile. 
Last but not least both Virgo and Scorpio are symbols of medicine, whether surgery or the healing art Pluto needs to experience pain in order to heal.
Traditionally Virgo exalts Pluto because it finds more esoteric and efficient ways to knowledge instead of the date comparing, data collecting ways more familiar to Mercury. Practical knowledge, magic and knowledge through intense personal experience are all in the Pluto domain. The glyphs of Mercury and Pluto bear a resemblance as well.
  

So: 
Uranus is exalted in Scorpio 
Neptune is exalted in Aquarius
Pluto is exalted in Virgo (or Leo, see below)

 

A final note on a prevailing view in the astrological community:  
Concerning Pluto's exaltation in Leo.
Leo is known to be bestial and feral according to traditional terms and is a sucker for wealth and success.
Intense and uncompromising Leo will do everything in its power to succeed. So far all goes well with Pluto's black and white world view, or plain ruthlessness. We must remember though that Pluto is driven by a desperate and often obsessive need for survival while Leo is driven by the need to perpetuate his ego, to prove his greatness to the world.
Leo's have a penchant for drama and magic tricks, that is all which is marvelous, shiny and captivates the crowd, I'll give em that.  
And now some differences: Leo craves applause while Pluto can just as easily shy away from people. Both are suckers for power but the way they execute it is different like day and night. Pluto is the master of darkness, taboo practices and the wavier of secrets, all of which are foreign to the Leonine character who basks in the light of his righteous pride. 
Leo has no motifs of death and rebirth, no motifs of change. It's rather the integrity of the ego. Leo is extreme in his own way but otherwise too addicted to all which is bright and shinny; good moods, good times, humor and fun to want to have anything to do with Pluto's murky waters. 
I do have to admit that by placing Pluto's exaltation in a positive - yang sign we create a rulership scheme which gives all the outer planets a positive sign as their sign of exaltation coupled with their dignified home sign in a negative yin sign. Some additional points in favor of this placement are:
Pluto needs to control things and Leo’s have a knack for organization. Pluto is into gathering knowledge for practical purposes, so it's not knowledge for knowledge's sake like the Mercury signs. This trait is shared by Leo's no nonsense approach when the lion isn't out to play.  
Pluto’s placement in Leo will place Pluto’s fall in Aquarius. Aquarian individuals are usually in favor of technology, progress and bearing things to light and truth, which is truly what Pluto has a hard time with.
Lastly Pluto’s exaltation in Leo creates a highly symmetrical zodiac where every sign has an exalted planet without exception (including north and south node for Sagittarius and Gemini respectively). This is an additional important point in this tangled fall and exaltation debate.   



Those are my thoughts on the subject.
Please agree, disagree and explain your own.
Let us clarify this subject once and for all !


~ Dima  




 The Symmetrical Exaltation Scheme